I recently asked a friend of mine when her kids started back to school. Her eyes got wide, and she eagerly replied, “Six days from now!” As soon as she said it, there was an expression of guilt that wiped across her face. I could tell…she felt guilty to be excited that her kids were returning to school and she’d have more time on her hands. I began wondering, why do women feel guilty when kids are going back to school? While I came up with many reasons why that might be, I decided to come up with a different list. Here are three reasons why kids going back to school can be good for you, your kids, and your marriage.
1. Your kids get back into a routine. Summer is often full of late bedtimes, pool parties, and random activities. But children do need a routine, and it is good for them. When children know what to expect because things are scheduled and predictable, it gives them a sense of safety and security and allows them to thrive. So hello, 7:30 pm baths and 8:30 pm bedtimes–I’ve missed you.
2. More time at school = more time for you. Well, only if you allow it. Having some personal time isn’t a bad thing. If you as the caretaker aren’t taking care of yourself, you’ll eventually crash. Taking care of you isn’t optional—it’s mandatory. So get a pedicure, read a book for a few minutes, take a long hot bath, or sneak in a power nap—you’ll be better for it, and your kids (and mate) will thank you for it.
3. More time for your marriage. When kids are home for the summer, they may stay up later than usual. This means less time for you and your husband alone. Once the children go back to school, it’s an opportunity to spend more time with your mate. Cuddle on the couch without interruption. Have some grown-up conversations without needing to talk in code because little ears are listening. Go to bed early and snuggle! If you need some starter topics of conversation, check out the 6 Questions to Ask Your Partner to Connect.
Every mom feels guilt at some point and time, for all kinds of different reasons. Being excited that your children are returning to school doesn’t have to be one of them. Permit yourself to look forward to back to school.
What’s one thing you’re going to do for yourself or your marriage when your kids return to school? I’d love to hear your plans.